Provocative titles aside, it is amazing that in this day and age there are still people who make the kind of calls I talked about at the Marketing Profs Daily Fix. During my career, I have gotten an education (why) on sales and sat in many training sessions (how). I own a signed copy of The Little Red Book of Selling by Jeffrey Gitomer and Solution Selling by Michael Bosworth, among other books on sales.
The smug fellow with the British accent in my story will not be able to sell me one thing because I did not like him -- that is sales 101 as Gitomer teaches here.
There is another question I would like to put to you here. In a related conversation I had off line with Roldano De Persio, he noted how a statement I made "get out there and talk to your customers" should really be the domain of sales, not the marketing team. What do you think?
It's a good observation -- yet in my experience often (not always) sales teams are compensated on the basis of selling to new customers not developing relationships with current clients, therefore this activity may fall to the marketing team. To some this may read like a totally improper and dysfunctional use of resources.
Sales professionals have unique human qualities like resiliency and patience; their role is to be out there and personalize the company product and service. Where the relationship is strong, the customer often buys because they like and trust the sales person. In that case, it may become a challenge to create a broader conversation with the organization -- testimonials and case studies are harder to come by then.
One friend I have in sales once told me that he would never share his top clients with the marketing team; he would ask for referrals from them only for his sales calls. What do you think? Is there a middle ground?